[Cdt-l] Steripen

Scott Piddington sp2mtns at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 8 08:21:01 CST 2011

I love my SteriPen Adventurer. Just for a little background,
I used my first SteriPEN, the predecessor to the now Classic model, leading
week long teen backpacking trips for 10 weeks for each of 2 summers. Then I
used it for an AT thru-hike in 2004. The battery clip broke somewhere in VT or
NH but it still worked to get me to Katahdin. When I asked for a replacement
battery clip from Hydro-Photon, the manufacturer, they apologized for not
having the clip and shipped me a new Classic model with an improved battery
situation. After 4 years of heavy use I upgraded to the lighter newer
Adventurer for 2 thru-hikes of the PCT in 2007 & 2008.


If you get a Steripen, read the directions! Especially learn
how to take the cover off and put it back on. It's easy, but reading the
directions can avoid possible damage. Treat it with care. If you tend to fumble
stuff or have no mechanical finesse, maybe it's not for you. I have been using
Sterisens since 2001 or 2002 when they first hit the market. The Adventurer
uses a pair of 3volt Lithium batteries of type 123 as does the newer Journey. A
pair of them weigh in at just over an ounce so there is little penalty for
carrying a backup set. The price can vary widely. Some times they are sold as a
pair and sometimes individually. I found them at pharmacies, hardware stores,
WalMart and some big grocery stores. Some places they were $10 for a pair and
some places they were $12 each. Crazy. They usually last me 3 weeks or more on
a thru-hike. If I was camped near water I would not treat my cooking water. I
treated all my drinking water unless it came from a cache or a public faucet.
After considering the cost of all those bottles of Aqua Mura or replacement
cartridges, there really isn't much difference in the cost of operation.


The Adventurer got me through a thru-hike of the PCT in 2007
and then again in 2008. In 2010 I used it on the southern 1,500 miles of the CDT.
One of the great things was being able to pause to fill a bottle from a creek
or lake and just keep walking. The SteriPEN lived in its holster on my hip
belt. I would treat water as I walked for about 90 seconds and it was ready to drink. There was no fussing with or waiting for
chemicals. There was no time  consuming
tedious pumping and fiddling with hoses. There was no need to even take off my
pack! OK. So I'm weird. I don't like stopping and taking my pack off.


The Adventurer weighs in at just under 4 ounces with lithium
batteries included. With the holster it comes to about 4.5 ounces. This is far
less than a filter. The Classic (blue & white) weighs about twice that but
uses 4 standard AA batteries. Use Lithium or NIMH, not alkaline.


Now, about water bottles. The Classic and the new Journey
can be used with virtually any bottle, even with a mouth as small as a soda
bottle. In fact, with a soda bottle the Classic and  the new Journey will seal with the bottle so
that the pair can be inverted with  the
bottle on top of the SteriPEN. That way the bottle doesn't have to be
completely full for the Steripen to turn on. The Journey looks good but I
haven't used one.


On the other hand the smallest mouthed bottle I can find
that the Adventurer will fit is a 1 liter (quart) cranberry juice bottle. I
like these bottles quite a lot. This looks like the same size as a Gatorade
bottle but I'm not sure. Of course a Nalgene bottle will work with any of them. I don't like Nalgenes because they
are too heavy, expensive and I can't drink out of them while walking.


So you may have figured, I highly recommend the SteriPEN.




In a message dated 2/4/2011 12:31:00 P.M. Central Standard Time,  
csilla.tabor at gmail.com writes:

I'd love  to hear some stories (bad or good) about the use of Steripens for
water  purification. I'm considering getting one instead of resupplying Aqua
Mira  or iodine over and  over.

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